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ERIC Number: EJ932524
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-1559-5692
Guest-Host Encounters in Diaspora-Heritage Tourism: The Taglit-Birthright Israel Mifgash (Encounter)
Sasson, Theodore; Mittelberg, David; Hecht, Shahar; Saxe, Leonard
Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, v5 n3 p178-197 2011
More than 300,000 diaspora Jewish young adults and tens of thousands of their Israeli peers have participated in structured, cross-cultural encounters--"mifgashim"--in the context of an experiential education program known as Taglit-Birthright Israel. Drawing on field observations, interviews, and surveys, the formal and informal components of the encounters are described, and the meanings participants attach to the experience are analyzed. For North Americans, the encounters enable a personal and seemingly authentic experience of "the real" Israel, and make them feel welcome in the Jewish homeland. For Israelis, the encounters foster national pride, as well as identification with the transnational Jewish collective. Although program sponsors hoped the encounters would also create a forum for learning by Israeli participants about life in the Jewish diaspora, this latter goal was not typically achieved. This article explores the mechanisms by which the encounters generate identification with the homeland and the transnational Jewish collective, as well as the limitations of the encounters as a vehicle for reciprocal learning about diaspora culture and society. (Contains 10 footnotes and 4 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel